_DARLING HARBOUR PUBLIC REALM
© Simon Wood
The transformation of Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia, is the city’s most significant urban renewal initiative in 20 years – a once in a generation opportunity to remake a critical, central neighbourhood. The harbour-side precinct is now home to the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) comprising three exceptional new venues, a luxury hotel – and a new mixed-use neighbourhood is on the way.
Working closely with iNSW and Lendlease, Hassell delivered the urban design framework for the entire 20-hectare precinct and designed Darling Harbour’s public realm to better connect the city and offer new places for people to gather, relax and play. People were firmly at the heart of our design process for remaking Darling Harbour, says Angus Bruce, Hassell Principal and Head of Landscape Architecture. “Our clients envisaged a high-quality, open and flexible public realm that allows for the greatest variety of both casual uses and organised events. They wanted a place full of vibrant spaces that heighten the experience of visitors to the venues, while presenting as attractions in their own right,” Angus said.
By reinvigorating parklands, integrating landscapes and open space and incorporating water features, public artworks, plazas and event spaces, Hassell has created opportunities for events and activities as varied as open-air concerts, circus events, market stalls and busking – and simple pleasures like splashing in shallow pools. “We wanted to both ‘wow’ first-time visitors and delight those who use the space the most – the local community of workers and residents – and keep them coming back,” said Angus. Improved pedestrian, cycle and public transport connections now make it easier for people to access the precinct’s previously disconnected immediate neighbourhoods, the harbour and the Sydney city centre.
Architecture (International Convention Centre Sydney): Hassell + Populous
Artists: Ryoji Ikeda, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Danie Mellor, Janet Laurence
Infrastructure New South Wales (iNSW)/Lendlease